Hancock Holding named ‘stock to buy’ in Mississippi

Hancock Bank headquarters in downtown Gulfport
Hancock Bank headquarters in downtown Gulfport

Hancock Holding Company, parent company of Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank, was named the best stock to purchase in Mississippi in a new report, Kiplinger’s Best Stocks to Buy Now.

The report provides a state-by-state breakdown of top companies to invest in based on where they are headquartered. Hancock Holding is based in Gulfport.

Since the merger of the banks in 2010, the report says, results at the company have been mixed due to charge-offs on loans made to energy companies.

“But things may be looking up,” the report says, and cited Hancock’s acquisition in April of $1.6 billion in deposits and $1 billion in assets (mostly cash) from the failed First NBC Bank.

Kiplinger’s said Wall Street analysts expect earnings to increase 40 percent this year and 21 percent in 2018.

David Long, an analyst at Raymond James, rates the stock a “strong buy” with a 12-month price target of $54, according to the report.

The price of a share given in the report is $46.05 and market value is $3,892.1 million